Since 2013, under the former director, Prof Robin Crewe (2013 – 2016), the Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship has grown from strength to strength, with remarkable research advances in the range of projects that are hosted at the Centre. At the heart of our research has been the academic practice of interdisciplinarity, which has come to define the projects undertaken at this Centre. These include: Human Economy; the Meaning and Value of Ubuntu in human development; the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn); Public Sector and Policy Research, and a new project on Humanities for the Environment. But there are also individual projects that are carried out by our Senior Research Fellows and Research Associates on, for example, Alternative Energy Research, and Chemical Structural / Scientific Software development and Research.
One of the key roles of the Centre is to enable unique and important collaborations, providing time and space for the very best creative and scientific thinking to take place and to foster partnerships and networks which will engender growth, especially in humanities and social sciences. A number of our academics are already known for their cutting-edge research in their individual fields of expertise; and their convergence at the Centre is beginning to stimulate new and insightful research which will serve to enrich the intellectual life of the University.
Within the spirit of interdisciplinarity, collaborations with University faculty and international visiting fellows, research associates and research fellows, we have been able to run research workshops and public lectures; provide support for a vibrant community of post-doctoral fellows and doctoral students at the Centre. This way we believe we will be realising the overarching vision of the University to be a leading research-intensive university in Africa, and recognized internationally for its quality, relevance and impact – developing people, creating knowledge and making a difference locally and globally. In addition, we have excellent support from the Centre’s executive committee, the advisory board, and unequivocal support of the Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof. Cheryl de la Rey, for the continued growth of the Centre.
I look forward to your continued involvement in the activities of the Centre as we move steadily into the future.